Bucket list #2: Stay as fit as possible for 30 days

This is part of a series post that I started early 2015. You can read the other inputs of my bucket list here.

Why do so?

Stronger and healthier body, better basketball game, and for fun.

The plan

I thought setting an end goal wouldn’t be helpful at all. After all experts said the best way to hack (and to sustain) any sort of growth is to focus on the system. So what I did was tweaking my life and changing my habits instead of putting up a “lose X kg of weight” or “grow X kg of muscles” in 30 days.

To do this, I considering my lifestyle thoroughly and set five simple rules/exercise routines  –

  • Kettlebell swings – 75/100/125 rep  x 3 times per week
  • 90 sec air bench + 60 sec plank – (2+3) x 4 times per week
  • Jog/cycle/basketball – 4 times per week
  • No calorie drinks (anything with sugar in it) for 30 days
  • No white food (noodles, bread, rice) after 18:00

Why kettlebell swing?

Short answer – To improve overall fitness.

I first read about kettlebell swing in Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Body book and bumped into several different fitness articles that talk about this exercise later.

It seems to me that kettlebell swing is the most efficient, and more importantly, convenient, way to improve fitness and build muscles.

You can learn from Tim himself on how to perform a right kettlebell swing in this video.

Air bench?

Air bench is solely for my knees.

The exercise is actually a huge life saver to me. I did three ligaments (ACL, PCL, PLC) reconstruction about two years ago and had knee pain regularly after sports. I’ve tried several different methods (lunge, leg dip, sumo squat) to overcome the issue  – none work well for me.

Then I found air bench from Pete Egoscue’s book and everything was solved.

So if you are experience knee pain – give this exercise a shot. You can see how to this exercise is performed here (which is extremely simple).

No white food after 18:00?

In Tim’s low crab diet experiments, the testers were manage to lose up to 9 kgs in one month by not taking any white food (and eating the same food everyday). But since I’m such a sucker to carbohydrate food (I can’t even skip rice for two continuous day!) – I’ll just settle at no white food after 6 in the evening – and hopefully I’ll lose some fat.


To track my progress, I made a timetable and sticked it to the wall at my work place. And the following are my short updates on this challenge.

The time frame shown is from Jan 4th - 31st, 2015 - 4 weeks (28 days) instead of 30 days - but I figured it's good enough for display and record purposes.
The time frame shown is from Jan 4th – 31st, 2015 – 4 weeks (28 days) instead of 30 days.

Update – Day 10

  • So far so good. I did had juices and a few sip on my son’s 100 Plus on weekend but that’s about it. I have been following the rules I set myself closely.
  • Fitness wise – Not feeling any major changes yet. The biggest trackable improvement would be in kettlebell swing – I can hardly do 20 rounds when I first started but I am going 125 swings with only 2 stops now.
  • Sleeping time reduce substantially. I was able to stay resourceful all day long  with lesser sleep time. Last night I slept at 3am and woke up at 815am feeling nothing. This is quite a major improvement in contrast to my usual 8.5 hours sleep time. I guess consuming less food allows my body to save energy for other activities.

Update – Day 14

  • Surprisingly dodging white food during dinner is easier than I thought. In fact, I’ve got used to this eating habit now and plan to do this for long term.
  • Dodging calorie drinks, on the other hand, was not that easy.  I miss teh tarik in the morning and I miss beer session badly. And I broke the rule a few times during the past few days. 100 Plus after basketball – just can’t resist it.

The finish line

  • Manage to finish the entire challenge with no beer consumption and over-doing some of the exercises.
  • Lost almost 3 kg in the process (it would be 3kg+ if you offset muscles grown IMO), fitter and enjoy my basketball game better.
  • Jogging was surprisingly relaxing and easy after the first two weeks of core and lifting training. I ended up jogging a few 5km sessions in the last week.
  • It’s a no brainer – but seriously, you sleep much better (and shorter) when you consume less food and do more exercise. Try it yourself to feel a different body. I felt the impact on day 10 or so – which is amazing.

And then…

My effort got flushed into the toilet almost instantly. I know. LOL.

What follows after this work out was a 10-day Chinese New Year feast. Beer. Food. Beer. Food. And then more beer and food. I quickly put back on my weight and the beer tummy.

But I suppose that is all good.

I had fun, and I  knew I can do this (skip beer, quit white food at night, more work out) any time I want in future (probably in May or June). So yeah… we are all good. I see you again soon, flat tummy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *